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  1. #21
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post

    Actually Christianity is a religion and, as it happens, Jefferson and a fair number of the most influential of our forefathers were not. The absence of mentions of God in the Constitution was intentional, not an oversight. Two of our first three Presidents rejected the notion of Christ as a manifestation of God or as being anything other than a very special man.
    That is correct! And, a hard notion for the Christians to get their heads around. That the one man that penned The Declaration Of Independence and the major contributor to The Constitution was an educated open-minded public servant that saw the destructive forces of all religions in relationship to a free society. One in which its peoples can observe the religion of thier choice or not to observe any organized religions at all.

    Jefferson, Washington, Payne, Adams and others were grounded in the Enlightenment and sought reason more than myth.
    It's time we abandon our party affiliations and rather than being good Dems or good Repubs we all become good Americans. MJH345

  2. #22
    Senior Member Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    That is correct! And, a hard notion for the Christians to get their heads around. That the one man that penned The Declaration Of Independence and the major contributor to The Constitution was an educated open-minded public servant that saw the destructive forces of all religions in relationship to a free society. One in which its peoples can observe the religion of thier choice or not to observe any organized religions at all.

    Jefferson, Washington, Payne, Adams and others were grounded in the Enlightenment and sought reason more than myth.

    Sorry, Franco, but you must have read a different history of Washington than I did. Methinks he wasn't using much 'logic' in his prayers while crossing the Potomac. Try reading some of his letters from Valley Forge...didn't have many 'myths' invoked.

    As far as Jefferson is concerned, it would do you good to read more of his history as well. While being a Deist, it had nothing to do with his seeing "all religions as destructive forces." He saw a religious faith or denomination becoming a state sponsored program as being anathema to the new nation. This view was based on what he saw this new countries citizens leaving in England, and wanted to make sure that wasn't part of our original Constitution.

    You may not be in favor of the nation's founders as being God-fearing humans, but please don't try to re-write history to fit that personal belief.

    UB
    When the one you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.

  3. #23
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bill View Post
    Sorry, Franco, but you must have read a different history of Washington than I did. Methinks he wasn't using much 'logic' in his prayers while crossing the Potomac. Try reading some of his letters from Valley Forge...didn't have many 'myths' invoked.

    As far as Jefferson is concerned, it would do you good to read more of his history as well. While being a Deist, it had nothing to do with his seeing "all religions as destructive forces." He saw a religious faith or denomination becoming a state sponsored program as being anathema to the new nation. This view was based on what he saw this new countries citizens leaving in England, and wanted to make sure that wasn't part of our original Constitution.

    You may not be in favor of the nation's founders as being God-fearing humans, but please don't try to re-write history to fit that personal belief.

    UB
    I agree with your comment on Jefferson not being anti religious per se. However, he never joined any church himself, although he said that if he did it would be as a Unitarian. He was by no means "God fearing" in his beliefs. He did believe that Jesus was a man, not a manifestation of God, and rejected descriptions of biblical miracles as historic distortions. In his own version of the Bible, Jefferson deleted all references to miracles allegedly performed by Jesus or others to get at what he viewed as being Jesus, the man. Washington's religious views are much more prosaic, although some have claimed him as a deist (i.e. rejecting the notion of Christ as a manifestation of God). However, as a Mason, he was certainly a supporter of broad religious freedom (Masons required members to assert belief in a higher being, but many were not Christian in the modern sense).

  4. #24
    Senior Member Koolaid's Avatar
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    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814


    I've always thought Mr. Jefferson was quite hostile to the notion of the church to be honest. Maybe he just had an angry streak in him when saying such things.

  5. #25
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koolaid View Post
    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814


    I've always thought Mr. Jefferson was quite hostile to the notion of the church to be honest. Maybe he just had an angry streak in him when saying such things.
    I tend to thin that he was more anti-authoritarian than anti religion. He was somewhat secretive about his own religious beliefs with good reason, as was evident in Adam's attacks on him during the 1800 Presidential campaign. It is ironic that, in later years, Adams became one of his strongest supporters in completing the Jefferson Bible. Just as Adams exaggerated Jefferson's "atheism" during the campaign, Adams also exaggerated his own religious beliefs to provide contrast.

    It was typical of the age that both men questioned orthodoxy in any form. The distinction that gets lost today is the difference between accepting Jesus as an important moral leader and accepting Jesus as a personal savior and manifestation of God. Virtually all of our founding fathers would have accepted Jesus the man as an important religious and moral figure. Many, however, rejected the notion of Christ the Savior.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Well, we all know the heathen that Jefferson was so, lets take a look at Washington.



    George Washington and Deism
    Deists have a great example of toleration, perseverance, and integrity in the person of fellow Deist George Washington.
    Christian preachers who ardently wanted Washington to be portrayed as one of them have made up many stories of George Washington's strong Christian beliefs. One of the primary purveyors of these propaganda pieces was Mason Locke Weems, a Christian preacher who came up with the fable of George Washington and the cherry tree. He also feverishly promoted the myth of George Washington and Christianity.
    Washington, like many people in colonial America, belonged to the Anglican church and was a vestryman in it. But in early America, particularly in pre-revolutionary America, you had to belong to the dominant church if you wanted to have influence in society. In the book Washington and Religion by Paul F. Boller, Jr., we read on page 92, "Washington was no infidel, if by infidel is meant unbeliever. Washington had an unquestioning faith in Providence and, as we have seen, he voiced this faith publicly on numerous occasions. That this was no mere rhetorical flourish on his part, designed for public consumption, is apparent from his constant allusions to Providence in his personal letters. There is every reason to believe, from a careful analysis of religious references in his private correspondence, that Washington’s reliance upon a Grand Designer along Deist lines was as deep-seated and meaningful for his life as, say, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s serene confidence in a Universal Spirit permeating the ever shifting appearances of the everyday world."..

    On page 82 of the same book, Boller includes a quote from a Presbyterian minister, Arthur B. Bradford, who was an associate of Ashbel Green another Presbyterian minister who had known George Washington personally. Bradford wrote that Green, "often said in my hearing, though very sorrowfully, of course, that while Washington was very deferential to religion and its ceremonies, like nearly all the founders of the Republic, he was not a Christian, but a Deist."
    Like truly intelligent people in all times and places, Washington realized how very little we know about life and the workings of the universe. He wrote that the ways of Providence were "inscrutable." Yet he DID the very best he could in all aspects of his life. When things were dark and it looked like the Revolution would be lost, he never gave up. Even when people in his own ranks were turning on him and trying to sink him he persevered because of his deep heartfelt Deistic belief in Providence.
    George Washington coupled his genuine belief in Providence with action. After the American defeat at Germantown in 1777 he said, "We must endeavor to deserve better of Providence, and, I am persuaded, she will smile on us." He also wrote that we should take care to do our very best in everything we do so that our, "reason and our own conscience approve."
    Washington's toleration for differing religions was made evident by his order to the Continental Army to halt the observance of Pope's Day. Pope's Day was the American equivalent of Guy Fawkes' Day in England. A key part of Pope's Day was the burning of the effigy of the Pope. In his order, Washington described the tradition as, "ridiculous and childish" and that there was no room for this type of behavior in the Continental Army.

    Preacher Weems has written that on Washington's death bed, "Washington folded his arms decently on his breast, then breathing out 'Father of mercies, take me to thyself,' - he fell asleep." Like almost all of what the Christian fundamentalists have written about Washington, this is not true.
    Tobias Lear, Washington's secretary, was with him when he died. The following is his account of Washington's death.

    "About ten o'clk he made several attempts to speak to me before he could effect it, at length he said, -'I am just going. Have me decently buried; and do not let my body be put into the vault in less than three days after I am dead.' I bowed assent, for I could not speak. He then looked at me again and said, 'Do you understand me?' I replied, 'Yes.' 'Tis well,' said he.
    "About ten minutes before he expired (which was between ten and eleven o'clk) his breathing became easier; he lay quietly; - he withdrew his hand from mine, and felt his own pulse. I saw his countenance change. I spoke to Dr. Craik who sat by the fire; - he came to the bed side. The General's hand fell from his wrist - I took it in mine and put it into my bosom. Dr. Craik put his hands over his eyes and he expired without a struggle or a sigh!"
    Like other Deists such as Paine, Jefferson, Voltaire, Franklin, and Allen, Washington did not fear death but looked at it as just another part of nature. Though he didn't speculate much on an after-life, he was comfortable to look at his own death as part of God's design.
    George Washington offers us a tremendous example of altruism and positive action. His actions tell us stronger than any words could possibly do to persevere in the face of all obstacles. To never give up and to always combine our sincerely held beliefs with action.
    It's time we abandon our party affiliations and rather than being good Dems or good Repubs we all become good Americans. MJH345

  7. #27
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    I love the part about the three days wait before entombing him. Unfortunately, there were few true tests of death at the time and wise men feared being buried alive.

    From my reading of history, most of our notions of an evangelical country stem from the mid- and late-19th century and represented a rejection of the more open explorations of religion and philosophy found among our 18th century fore fathers.
    Last edited by YardleyLabs; 03-15-2010 at 04:45 PM.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Clay Rogers's Avatar
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    Here's a question, are we not stepping on the coachs civil liberties but not allowing him to pray with his team? I mean, couldn't the players that didn't want to pray just stand there while the coach prayed with the team members that do want to pray? I am not a church goer, but I do believe in God, and when my pts want me to pray with them I do, no matter their religion. And that includes muslims. If they ask it of me, I do it.
    RIP SGT. David Blake Williams KIA 22 Mar 2008 Iraq


    Every day should be Veteran's day.


    "They say War is Hell, but I have to disagree. War is easy. It's the living afterwards thats hell." Author Unknown

  9. #29
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    I love the part about the three days wait before entombing him. Unfortunately, there were few true tests of death at the time and wise men feared being buried alive.
    How bout when sailors are buried at sea, as they're being laced up in their shroud, the last stitch goes through the nose, to be absolutely sure they're dead before their weighted sac is pushed overboard.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  10. #30
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpholehunter View Post
    Here's a question, are we not stepping on the coachs civil liberties but not allowing him to pray with his team? I mean, couldn't the players that didn't want to pray just stand there while the coach prayed with the team members that do want to pray? I am not a church goer, but I do believe in God, and when my pts want me to pray with them I do, no matter their religion. And that includes muslims. If they ask it of me, I do it.
    The issue is that a teacher (including a coach) is in an authoritative position and by leading a group prayer or calling for it to be done as part of an official school function is effectively saying "This is something I expect you to do." By way of example, look at the reaction to the NJ school that had kids singing a song about Obama, the first black President, as part of a school function celebrating black achievements during Black History Month (ignore whether or not you believe there should be such an official designation). Members of this forum compared that event to the indoctrination of the Hitler Youth in Germany. What is the purpose of group prayer other than to coerce group belief. Does anyone seriously believe that God won't hear their prayer unless others join in? Students are free to pray on their own or together under current law. Teachers are free to pray on their own or to be part of a student led prayer, but they may not call for the prayer or lead it. With all the laws and court cases that have transpired since my days in fifth grade, the latitude that remains is still abused and violated on a regular basis. I would hate to see it extended further.

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